United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2004 HQ Rulings > HQ 966841 - HQ 966933 > HQ 966913

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 966913

July 7, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 966913 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 5911.90.0080

Dennis Heck
Import Compliance Manager
Yamaha Corporation of America
6600 Orangethorpe Avenue
P.O. Box 6600
Buena Park, CA 90622-6600

RE: Request for reconsideration of NY K81478, regarding classification of a textile felt washer for piano pedal rod assembly

Dear Mr. Heck:

This is in response to a letter, dated January 6, 2004, from the Yamaha Corporation of America requesting reconsideration of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) New York Ruling Letter (NY) K81478, dated December 19, 2003, involving the classification of Yamaha felt washers for piano pedal rods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample has been submitted to this office for examination.


NY K81478 involved the classification of three separate items. However, your request identifies only one of the items for reconsideration. The subject article is identified as T5900510, which is a cut to size washer constructed of textile felt material through which the piano pedal is run for a Grand Piano.

NY K81478 classified the felt washer (T5900510) in subheading 5911.90.0080, HTSUSA, which provides for “Textile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in note 7 to this chapter: Other, Other.” You disagree with CBP’s classification of the subject merchandise and assert that this article is properly classified in subheading 9209.91.8000, HTSUSA, which provides for “Parts (for example, mechanisms for music boxes) and accessories (for example, cards, discs and rolls for mechanical instruments) of musical instruments; metronomes, tuning fork and pitch pipes of all kinds: Other: Parts and accessories for pianos, Other”.


What is the proper classification for the merchandise?


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Heading 5911, HTSUSA, provides for textile products and articles for technical uses so long as they are specified in Note 7 to Chapter 59. Note 7 to Chapter 59 reads:

Heading 5911 applies to the following goods, which do not fall in any other heading of section XI:

(a) Textile products in the piece, cut to length or simply cut to rectangular (including square) shape (other than those having the character of the products of headings 5908 to 5910), the following only:

(i) Textile fabrics, felt and felt-lined woven fabrics, coated, covered or laminated with rubber, leather or other material, of a kind used for card clothing, and similar fabrics of a kind used for other technical purposes, including narrow fabrics made of velvet impregnated with rubber, for covering weaving spindles (weaving beams);

(ii) Bolting cloth;

(iii) Straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like, of textile material or human hair;

(iv) Flat woven textile fabrics with multiple warp or weft, whether or not felted, impregnated or coated, of a kind used in machinery or for other technical purposes;

(v) Textile fabric reinforced with metal, of a kind used for technical purposes;

(vi) Cords, braids and the like, whether or not coated, impregnated or reinforced with metal, of a kind used in industry as packing or lubricating materials;

(b) Textile articles (other than those of headings 5908 to 5910) of a kind used for technical purposes (for example, textile fabrics and felts, endless or fitted with linking devices, of a kind used in papermaking or similar machines (for example, for pulp or asbestos-cement), gaskets, washers, polishing discs and other machinery parts). [emphasis supplied]

In your request for reconsideration you assert that item T5900510 is a cut to size felt washer for a piano that is not classified in Chapter 59, HTSUSA, because it is not used for machinery. However, heading 5911, HTSUSA, is not just limited to textile products for a technical use with machinery. The EN to heading 5911, HTSUSA, states that “textile products and articles of this heading present particular characteristics which identify them as being for use in various types of machinery, apparatus, equipment or instruments or as tools or parts of tools.” [emphasis supplied]

Furthermore, Section B to the EN for heading 5911 specifically addresses textile articles of a kind used for technical purposes. The EN states in pertinent part:

All textile articles of a kind used for technical purposes (other than those of headings 59.08 to 59.10) are classified in this heading and not elsewhere in Section XI (see Note 7(b) to the Chapter):

The subject article meets the definition of a “washer” and is specifically provided for in the EN to heading 5911, HTSUSA. The Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1979), defines a “washer” as follows: “. . . 2: a flat thin ring or a perforated plate used in joints or assemblies to ensure tightness, prevent leakage, or relieve friction.” The subject article, T5900510, is a flat thin ring constructed of textile felt through which the piano pedal rod is run.

We also recognize that subheading 9209.91, HTSUSA, provides for parts and accessories for pianos. Although the EN’s to 9209 generally provide for parts of pianos, e.g., pedal mechanisms and pedals, these exemplars do not specifically include textile washers. In this instance, the felt washers are eo nomine provided for in Note 7 to Chapter 59 and included within the scope of heading 5911 by its EN (B)(4). Furthermore, Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), provides:

In the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires- -

(c) a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for “parts” or “parts and accessories” shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory;

It is our determination that the subject washer is a textile article for a technical use within the meaning of heading 5911, HTSUSA, because it is constructed of felt textile material and is specifically provided for in the EN’s to heading 5911. In fact, classification of the subject articles in heading 5911, HTSUSA, is consistent with earlier CBP rulings and affirms our classification decision in NY B87050, dated July 25, 1997, wherein a Yamaha instrument felt washer (U0638071) was classified as a textile article for technical use in subheading 5911.90.0080, HTSUSA. See also CBP Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 083199, dated March 23, 1990, which classified felt washer components for a photocopier machine as textile articles of a kind used for technical purposes in heading 5911, HTSUSA; NY 875496, dated July 23, 1992, classified felt washers used in the “Duratype 24 SE Digital Lettering System” in heading 5911, HTSUSA. Of particular relevance is HQ 962967, dated November 21, 2000, which classified a gasket (constructed of foam and metal particles enmeshed in a fabric cover used to provide corrosion resistance in a computer’s electronic components) as “Textile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in note 7 to this chapter: Other: Other” in subheading 5911.90.0080, HTSUSA. HQ 962967 denied the protestant’s assertion that the merchandise was classified as “parts and accessories of machinery” under heading 8473, HTSUSA.

In view of the foregoing, we find that NY K81478, dated December 19, 2003, correctly classified the subject merchandise in subheading 5911.90.0080, HTSUSA, which provides for textile articles for technical uses.


NY K81478, dated December 19, 2003, is hereby affirmed.

The subject article, T5900510, identified as a textile felt washer is correctly classified in subheading 5911.90.0080, HTSUSA, which provides for “Textile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in note 7 to this chapter: Other, Other.” The general column one duty rate is 3.8 percent ad valorem.

The classification of the remaining articles the subject of NY K81478 is unchanged.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact the local CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: